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Effect of reduced charitable tax deduction is debated

Nonprofit leaders in the Oklahoma City area debate the effect of reducing the charitable tax deduction.
by Carla Hinton Published: December 15, 2012
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Maj. Dan Proctor, area commander of the Salvation Army's Central Oklahoma Area Command, said while no one knows the final effect of the loss of the charitable tax deduction, proposals about altering the deduction should be of concern to all nonprofits.

“The Salvation Army relies greatly on the generosity of our community,” Proctor said. “Donors give to us for a number of reasons, including the allowable deduction. Any loss of funds would compromise the level of assistance we would be able to provide.”

Meanwhile, Robert Kellogg, president and CEO of the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma, said he is aware of the proposals to reduce or eliminate the tax deduction for charitable giving. He said he anticipated that a broad spectrum of tax increases and spending cuts would be considered, given the size of the federal deficit coupled with the ongoing disparity between government spending and revenues.

Kellogg said he would prefer a tax policy that encourages charitable contributions rather than discouraging them, particularly at a time of high unemployment and considerable personal need.

However, he said many people are always going to be motivated by their desire to help others and not how their charitable contributions will help them at tax time.

“Charitable contributions from Christ followers are borne out of their personal desire to be obedient to God, to be a blessing to others as God has blessed them, and to advance the mission and fund the ministries of the churches and faith-based charities they love and are connected to,” Kellogg said.

He said the effect of reducing or eliminating the charitable tax deduction will ultimately be felt by those in need who benefit from the services of charities.

CONTRIBUTING:

The Associated Press

by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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